Oxford University Requirements For American Students

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Today, one third of our students, including 21% of undergraduates, are international citizens and come from over 150 countries. Our admissions process is the same for all applicants but if you are coming from abroad we hope you will find the information in this section particularly useful. 

Choosing what you would like to study is exciting but it is also something you should think carefully about.

Many of Oxford’s courses require you to choose what you are going to major in at the time of applying. This means you will be spending several years studying this subject in depth. It is also worth bearing in mind that it is typically very difficult to change your course once at Oxford.

Why not take a look at our advice and guidance on choosing what to study and visit the full list of our undergraduate courses. Remember that you cannot combine courses if they are not listed as a joint course. 

What is the University of Oxford Graduate Acceptance Rate?

The graduate programs offered by the University of Oxford fall into two main categories: research and taught. Students participate in research programs under academic supervision and meet regularly. Supervisors provide advice on the specific project, the nature of the research, the methods of data collection and the expected standards.

As part of their research degree, students often attend courses on specific research skills as well as a range of seminars and lectures. Taught programs usually involve a range of core and optional courses and the submission of a dissertation.

The evaluation can be for coursework, as well as for exams and dissertations. The study is supported by seminars and conferences. Offer numbers include all conditional or unconditional offers made by academic departments or faculties.

8,887 applications (34.3%) were for graduate research degrees.

17,057 applications (65.7%) were for graduate taught degrees.

What is the University of Oxford Ph.D. Acceptance Rate?

There is no specific figure to show for the University of Oxford Ph.D. acceptance rate, but from the detailed explanation above, concerning the graduate acceptance rate you can know how the school admits for the Ph.D. program.

What is the University of Oxford International Acceptance Rate?

Oxford is one of the most international universities in the world. Today, one-third of its students, including 17% of undergraduates, are international citizens and come from over 150 countries. Oxford welcomes applications from international students. 

Applicants to Cambridge in 2016 had a 26% chance of getting in – with applicants to Oxford having just a 17% chance of success.

What is the University of Oxford US Acceptance rate?

It is difficult for everyone, but it seems to be slightly harder for Americans. On average Oxford has about a 16% admission rate, but for Americans, it is just under 9%. Roughly half the average.

If I wanted to risk an educated guess, it would be Oxford is looking for “narrow and deep” people in their academic fields, while American high school education is approaching a much broader (but necessarily superficial) curriculum.

University of Oxford admission is offered to international students from over 155 nations across the world. Being one of the best universities in the world, Oxford manifests an extremely competitive acceptance rate of 15%. UCAS application deadline for the university is October 15 for the undergraduate programs. However, the graduate programs at the University of Oxford have variable application deadlines. The university guarantees college accommodation for the first year of undergraduate programs. Graduate students can contact Graduate Accommodation Office for information on accommodation availability and cost.

Guidance for international students

A group of student relax on the grass outside the Natural History Museum

Deciding to study at a world-class university is one decision, but deciding to study abroad is another big step. Today, one third of our students, including 21% of undergraduates, are international citizens and come from over 150 countries. In this section we look at aspects of student life at Oxford and our admissions process which are particularly relevant to those currently studying and living outside the UK. 

University of Oxford Latest Notifications

  • 8 October, 2021 : Oxford University Ranked #1 for Computer Science ( 4th Year in a Row) by THE 2022 World University Rankings
  • 7 October, 2021 : Last Date to Apply for M.Sc (Advanced Computer Science) is in January, 2022
  • 7 October, 2021 : Oxford University: MBA Admission Deadlines Released for Stage-2

University of Oxford charges 150 GBP (~15,400 INR) to the students seeking admission to MBA in UK. For all other programs, international applicants need to pay an application fee of 75 GBP (~7,700 INR). The admission requirements for international students are country-specific. Generally, a 2:1 honours degree or an equivalent (60-70% for Indian students) and proficiency in English are the basic prerequisites for admission to University of Oxford.

The university is globally recognized for the research-oriented programs across science and management and hence required outstanding GRE or GMAT scores for admission to specific graduate programs. The additional admission requirements include official transcripts, proof of fund availability, updated CV and academic or professional LOR. Although interviews are not mandatory for University of Oxford admissions, however, the university encourages the students to appear in the online interview sessions to increase their chance of getting picked in the selection process. 

University of Oxford Admission Deadlines

Following are the deadlines for applying to the programs at University of Oxford:

  • Undergraduate:
    • UCAS: October 15
    • Written work: November 10
    • Portfolio: November 2
  • Graduate: Variable and program specific.

University of Oxford Admission to Top Programs

As a modern, research-driven university with an international character, Oxford provides strong education in all the programs. However, the university cites particular prowess in the sciences and Management disciplines. Some of the top programs and their respective admission details are tabulated below:

ProgramsFees Per Annum (USD)DeadlinesScores Accepted
M.Sc in Advanced Computer Science33,000September 1Undergraduate honors in computer science or mathematics
No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.
M.B.A 65,489September 12 Years Full-Time Work Experience
Median GMAT score of 690
Median GRE score of 160 verbal & quantitative
M.Sc Financial Economics56,200Starting on August 2021GMAT/GRE: 85th Percentile & Verbal Scores in 80th Percentile
MSc Software EngineeringRegistration: 20,515
Per Module: 2,900
January 8Undergraduate in computer science, informatics, or engineering
No GMAT or GRE Scores Required
MSc Social Data Science35,246November 13 and January 22First-class undergraduate degree with honors in any subject
No GMAT or GRE Scores Required
Programming Skills in Python
M.Phil International Relations37,651January 8Research or working experience
Peer Reviewed Publication
BA English Language and Literature40,480October 15English Literature 
B.Sc Medicine45,411October 15BMAT
Chemistry with either Maths, Further Maths, Biology or Physics
Bachelor Engineering Science48,155October 15Physics and Mathematics
BA Biological Sciences38,211October 15Two from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics
BA Human Sciences38,020October 15Biology or Mathematics

Acceptance Rate at University of Oxford

University of Oxford has accepted around 3,300 undergraduate students from over 23,000 applications in 2020. This indicates an extremely selective admission policy with an undergraduate acceptance rate of 14%. On the other hand, from over 34,000 applications, only around 5,500 students were accepted by the university for graduate programs, demonstrating the graduate acceptance rate of 16%.

What You Need Before Applying

Oxford is a demanding university. They only want the best of the best. They are looking for students who have demonstrated excellence in both their academics and extracurriculars.

You will need to have a strong academic record. Your high school GPA should be as close to perfect as possible. You should also take the most challenging classes offered at your school. If you’re taking AP or IB courses, make sure you get high marks on the exams.

It’s also important to have a well-rounded profile. Oxford wants to see that you’re more than just a good student – they want to see that you’re involved in your community, that you have passion and drive, and that you’re invested in your future.

To this end, make sure you have a strong personal statement and list of extracurricular activities. These should highlight your interests, achievements, and goals.

Your application will also need to include a few essays. These are your opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are as a person and why you deserve to be at Oxford.

Finally, you will need letters of recommendation from your teachers. These should attest to your academic excellence and personal character.

With all of this in mind, let’s move on to the application process itself!

University of Oxford International Admission

The Oxford student body comprises of 32% international students. Candidates from over 155+ countries and territories contribute to the cultural diversity of the university. International applicants require the submission of a 75 GBP (~7,700 INR) application fee for any program in the university. 

Admission requirements: Following are the basic requirements for international students to apply to the University of Oxford:

  • Details about previous qualifications and education submitted through UCAS application (for undergraduate admission)
  • Submission of University of Oxford Graduate application (for graduate admission)
  • Official transcripts along with certified English translation (for graduate admission)
  • Country-specific academic requirement
  • Evidence of financial support for at least a year
  • SOP to study in UK
  • Proof of proficiency in English

English Proficiency Requirements for International Students

For applying to University of Oxford, international applicants from a country where English is not the primary language should provide evidence of proficiency in English. Following are some of the popular exams and required scores for applying to the university:

TestStandard Level ScoreHigher Level Score
OverallPer SectionOverallPer Section
TOEFL100Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
110Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
Cambridge Certificate (CAE and CPE)185176191185
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in Engish185176191185

Note: The university accepts various other English proficiency tests. Standard level scores are accepted for admission in Computer Science, Mathematics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics. Higher-level scores are accepted for all other programs.

English Language Test Score Exemptions

University of Oxford also accepts the below-mentioned scores of the following programs as proof of test required to study in UK, in lieu of the aforementioned test scores:

ProgramMinimum Score Required
English level GCSEGrade B or Grade 6
English level O-levelGrade B
International Baccalaureate Standard LevelScore of 5 in English (as Language A or B)
European BaccalaureateScore of 70% in English

Students who studied the last two academic years with English as a language of instruction, International Baccalaureate Program, or Singapore Integrated Programme (SIPCAL) are not required to submit English proficiency scores.

University of Oxford Undergraduate Admission

Oxford is recognized as offering one of the best educations in the world at the undergraduate level. On average six to seven international applicants apply for one seat making it a tough competition. Admission to some of the University of Oxford’s undergraduate programs requires submission of test scores and written work. Written work can be submitted electronically or in hard-copy directly to the college. Students must get their test candidate entry number by 15 October as proof of entry to be eligible for admission.

Where to Apply: UCAS Application

Application Fee: £75

UCAS requirements: Following are the basic requirements for UCAS application:

  • Academic details
  • A personal statement describing the reason for choosing an applied course
  • LOR

Admission requirements: The basic requirements for applying to an  undergraduate program at the University of Oxford are listed below:

  • Completed UCAS application before the deadline
  • Written work and test scores (for elective courses)
  • An interview (for shortlisted candidates)
CourseSubject RequirementTestAdditional Requirements
EngineeringMathematics; PhysicsPATNot Required
Economics and ManagementMathematicsTSANot Required
Fine ArtsNot RequiredNot RequiredPortfolio
Computer ScienceMathematicsMATNot Required
EnglishLatin, Greek or English Language; English LiteratureELATTwo Essays upto 2000 words

Note: Students can refer to the individual department’s guidelines for submitting written work.

University of Oxford Undergraduate Admission Tests

The University of Oxford has specified test scores required to be submitted for admission in a particular course. These tests are conducted under the administration of Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (CAAT). Applicants must register for the required tests through a nearby test center (school, college, or open test center).

Registration Deadline: October 15

Test Fee: Varies with Test Centre

Detailed information on some of the tests is provided below:

TestQuestion TypeTimeSectionRequired for
Thinking Skill Assessment (TSA)MCQ, Long Answer90 minutes
30 minutes
Thinking Skill Assessment Writing testEconomics and Management, Experimental Psychology, Human Sciences,
Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and Psychology,
Philosophy and Linguistics, Chemistry, History and Economics
Physics Aptitude Test (PAT)MCQ2 hrs.Physics, MathsEngineering, Materials Science, Physics, Physics and Philosophy
Classics Admission Test (CAT)Long Answer1 hr/sectionLatin Translation, Greek Translation,
Classics Language Aptitude Test
Classics, Classics and English, Classics and
Modern Languages, Classics and Oriental Studies.
Mathematics Admission Test (MAT)MCQ, Long Answer2 hrs 30 minutesMathematicsComputer Science, Computer Science and Philosophy, Mathematics,
Mathematics and Computer Science,
Mathematics and Philosophy, Mathematics and Statistics
History Aptitude Test (HAT)Long Answer1 hrBased on a paragraphHistory, History (Ancient and Modern), History and Economics,
History and English, History and Modern Languages, History and Politics
Modern Language Admission Test (MLAT)MCQ, Long Answer30 minutes
60 minutes
Czech, French, German, Italian, Modern Greek,
Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, Linguistics,
Language Aptitude Test, Philosophy
European and Middle Eastern Languages, Classics and
Modern Languages, English and Modern Languages,
History and Modern Languages, Philosophy and Modern Languages
English Literature Admission Test (ELAT)Long Answer90 minutesEnglishEnglish Language and Literature, Classics and English, English and Modern Languages

University of Oxford Graduate Admission

University of Oxford offers various masters, diploma, and doctoral courses under the research and teaching category. Talking about just the graduate students, Oxford receives over 26,500 graduate applications from worldwide each year. Making it to:

  • 37% of Graduate students – UK
  • 63% of Graduate students – Outside UK

Where to Apply: Graduate Application

Application Fee: £150 (for MBA) and £75 (for other programs)

Academic Requirements: Here are the basic graduate program requirements for University of Oxford admission:

  • Official transcripts of institutes last attended
  • An updated CV
  • An interview (for shortlisted candidates)

Following are some of the top graduate programs offered by the University of Oxford and their respective admission requirements: 

RequirementM.Sc in EngineeringM.Sc in Computer ScienceM.B.AM.Sc in BiochemistryM.Sc in Mathematics
GRE/GMATNot RequiredNot RequiredRequiredNot RequiredNot Required
Research ProposalUpto 1000-1500 wordsNot RequiredNot RequiredNot RequiredNot Required
Letter of RecommendationThree (one must be academic)Three (one should be academic)TwoThreeThree
Personal StatementNot RequiredTwo pagesRequiredUpto 1000 wordsTwo pages
Additional RequirementNot RequiredNot RequiredTwo years experience, Upto 250 words essay, Online Assessment TestNot RequiredNot Required

Interview of shortlisted candidates is conducted online by University of Oxford admission office. In some cases, the college offering the applied course might decide to interview a candidate over telephone. The interview is not mandatory but is highly recommended to increase your chances of acceptance. International graduate students applying for a visa should submit an application by the January deadline (if available).

University of Oxford Admission Requirements for Indian Students

Indian students must be XII qualification studied with either the CBSE (All-India SSC) or CISCE (ISC) boards. For the CBSE board as an indication, it is required to have 91 or above for A1 and 81 to 90 for A2.

For courses requiring A*A*A

Courses: : Chemistry, Engineering Science, Mathematics, Mathematics and Philosophy, Mathematics and Statistics

• For CBSE board: Grades A1 A1 A1 A1 A2, with grade A1 in any subjects relevant to the course applied for.
• For CISCE board: Overall grade of at least 90%, with 95% or above in four subjects (including any relevant to the course applied for) and 85% or above in the fifth subject. 

For courses requiring A*AA

Courses: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Earth Sciences (Geology), Economics and Management, Medicine, Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL)

• For CBSE board: Grades A1 A1 A1 A2 A2, with grade A1 in any subjects relevant to the course applied for. 
• For CISCE board: Overall grade of 90% or more, with grades of at least 95% or above in three subjects (including any relevant to the course applied for) and 85% or above in the other two subjects.

For courses requiring AAA

Courses: Archaeology and Anthropology, Classics, English Language and Literature, Fine Art, History, Human Sciences, Law (Jurisprudence), Modern Languages, Music, Oriental Studies, Philosophy and Theology

• For CBSE board: Grades A1 A1 A2 A2 A2, with grade A1 in any subjects relevant to the course applied for.
• For CISCE board: Overall grade of 90% or more, with grades of at least 95% or above in two subjects (including any relevant to the course applied for) and 85% or above in the other three subjects.

Admission to University of Oxford is tough but achievable by meritorious applicants. Prospective students must prepare themselves to score outstanding marks from the beginning of their previous academic programs. Besides, as an international student, you need to prepare well for the standardized exams to study in UK. Furthermore, you need to develop leadership qualities and explain your plans in a clear perspective while attending the interview session to take University of Oxford admission. 

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